Restaurants likely to halve their seating capacity

Coronavirus lockdown: Restaurants likely to halve their seating capacity

The Vidyarthi Bhavan hotel in Bengaluru on Friday experimented with a fibre board partition formula, as it awaits SOPs from the Health Department to allow dine-in facility on their premises.

Reduced seating capacity, a short menu and self-service: this is how your local hotel might function in the coronavirus times.

As the state government mulls allowing dine-in services, hotels, like other pandemic-hit sectors, are set to witness a sea-change in the way they operate. 

According to the Karnataka Pradesh Hotel and Restaurants Association (KPHRA), seating arrangements are likely to be reduced by 50% and the menu will be cut down to accommodate dishes that can be served quickly.

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While awaiting guidelines from the government, the association had already begun prep work to equip its members to deal with the crisis, said PC Rao, President, KPHRA.

“For instance, in a four-seater table, we will arrange seating for only two. If the hotel has a 50-seat capacity, we will limit it to only 25 to ensure adequate social distancing,” Rao told DH.

The association was also looking at ensuring that customers did not have to spend too much time waiting for service. Hence, dishes that can be served quickly will be offered on the menu, according to Rao.

Not just this, hotel managements also want to reduce human interface in general.

“We are looking at creating separate buffet-like counters, where customers can pick up their respective orders instead of waiters offering service at the customer’s table,” said Madhukar Shetty, secretary, KPHRA.

Other measures the KPHRA was mulling to ensure safety and hygiene include fumigating restaurant premises, ensuring CCTVs in all kitchens, checking the temperature of customers and staff and sanitising vegetables and fruits. 

Further, members of the association are undergoing online training on how hygiene and safety can be maintained during the pandemic, the members said. The KPHRA has more than one lakh restaurants and hotels under its umbrella.

Arun Adiga, who runs the iconic Vidyarthi Bhavan, said cutting down seating arrangement seemed inevitable under the circumstances. They were also mulling the creation of partitions to maintain social distancing between customers. “It will look similar to workstations in offices. However, we will wait for the government guidelines before finalising these decisions,” he said.

Meanwhile, under immense pressure to resume dining services, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has written to the Centre seeking guidelines for the same. 

 

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